- "At first we sold you survival. Now, we give you paradise!"
If the Hacker is identified before all Agents are hacked, AER Corporation wins the game.
If all Agents but one are eliminated, PHANTOM wins the game.
The AER Corporation was originally a small-times arms and services dealer. As the world fell apart, AER managed to hold a monopoly over survival amenities and, by selling them discriminately, kept their business and investors afloat.
AER was quick to purchase the cybernetic technology that led to the creation of the AERIE, the simulated internet world that is now where most (paying) citizens of Los Angeles reside. The acquisition effectively transitioned the company into a megacorp with near-absolute jurisdiction over a massively popular digital world.
Now AER is the sole manufacturer of an escape from the real world's hardship and dredgery, and has gained immense monetary and political power. They maintain their virtual world, both in security and branding, through Agents with various roles.
Consumer Base Edit
Many consider AER a virtuous organization that kept humanity alive, fulfilled, and technologically innovative when it was on the brink of collapse.
True to form, AER provides all the necessary amenities for surviving the Wilderness while its citizens are immersed in the AERIE. On top of that, AERIE itself provides a "luxurious" lifestyle with a thriving, bubbly cyberculture.
A radical few reject AER's strict control over its citizenry. PHANTOM in particular feels the company jeopardizes the ability for the real world to recover, as AER's profiting mechanism depends on people permanently living in AERIE instead. Some members also criticize the conformist nature of the AERIE's culture.
A few oppose AER for strictly practical reasons. Vendors in the Black Market, for example, take their chances subverting the AERIE economy in order to make a profit themselves, even if they're ideologically neutral.
AER is referenced by characters, overheard gossip, and logos one might spot all about the AERIE.